Revolvers: Do you have the hammer on an empty chamber?

This is a discussion on Revolvers: Do you have the hammer on an empty chamber? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This topic may have been addressed, but I couldn't find a specific discussion in the archives. I have taken to carrying a late 1960's 4 ...

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Thread: Revolvers: Do you have the hammer on an empty chamber?

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    Member Array Mica's Avatar
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    Revolvers: Do you have the hammer on an empty chamber?

    This topic may have been addressed, but I couldn't find a specific discussion in the archives.

    I have taken to carrying a late 1960's 4 inch S&W Model 10-5 and an '80's era 2 inch Colt Agent on occasion. Both have fully exposed hammers.

    I like them in IWB the 1 o'clock position which works well with loose pants and untucked rugby and golf shirts.

    One o'clock works best for me because of the discomfort with the car seat and seatbelt apparatus at 3 through 6 o'clock. The trade-off is, of course, having one less round at the ready.

    Well you can imagine where the muzzle is pointing while I'm in the car or otherwise sitting! For this reason, the hammer is on an empty chamber. I was brought up to do that anyway. I'm not sure how the hammer would be struck hard enough to cause a discharge while in situ, but given where the muzzle is pointing.......And there's always the danger of dropping it while taking the rig on and off.

    To my point: It seems that some revolvers have a safety mechanism that prevents discharge when the hammer is struck, or when the weapon is dropped. Is there a way to know if MY revolvers have these features? Given their age, I kind of doubt it.
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    Senior Member Array 1911luver's Avatar
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    mica both of your revolvers are perfectly safe to carry fully loaded with a live round under the hammer. The guns you mention are both modern enough to be carried in such a s fashion. I believe that S&W has made them this way since right after WWII and your colt is certainly safe to carry fully loaded as well. As I believe both have a the hammer block safety you mention.

    Neither will discharge if the hammer is bumped or even if the gun itself was dropped. The only way any modern DA/SA revolver if going to fire is if you pull the trigger hope this helps.

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    All cyclinders are set on 'go'...hammer is down..."Next!"
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    Member Array Mica's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. I always thought that revolvers older than ten years or so did not come with the hammer block. Obviously it's a mechanism that blocks the hammer from contacting the cartridge if struck or dropped. This block is then mechanically lowered when the hammer is pulled back in either SA or DA. Sound about right?

    I wasn't able to visually see it, so I wasn't assuming....being one of those newbies, etc, etc.
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    Senior Member Array 1911luver's Avatar
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    If you open the cylinder(unload the gun after you do this)and look at the back of the frame where the firing pin hole is located,you'll see that even with hammer down the firing pin itself does not protrude at all. This is the hammer block doing its job. When you pull the trigger the hammer block moves out of the way and allow the hammer to move all the forward allowing the firing pin to strike the bullet's primer.

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    We carried the model 15's in the military,model 10 with adjustable rear sight basically,carried fully loaded
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    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1911luver View Post
    If you open the cylinder(unload the gun after you do this)and look at the back of the frame where the firing pin hole is located,you'll see that even with hammer down the firing pin itself does not protrude at all. This is the hammer block doing its job. When you pull the trigger the hammer block moves out of the way and allow the hammer to move all the forward allowing the firing pin to strike the bullet's primer.
    This answer "nailed it".

    I've carried Double Action Revolvers older than the one's you mentioned over the years with all the cylinders full. I've never had an issue.

    Now, with my Colt Single Action Army Revolver I want an empty chamber under the firing pin for safety reasons.

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    Member Array airworthy's Avatar
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    I have a model 15-3 S&W and it also has the hammer block device. I always carry it fully loaded.
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    Exclamation

    The only revolvers you need to worry about are the single action colts
    and the old model Rugers. Neither of them had the firing pin blocks,
    so both of them should be carried with the hammer down on an
    empty chamber unless your know you will be firing the guns
    immediately after loading and will need the sixth round.

    By the way, the new model Ruger single actions do indeed have the
    firing pen block, so they too are safely carried with all 6 chambers
    loaded.

    All modern revolvers with swing-out cylinders can be carried with all
    six chambers loaded.

    Good luck, Safe shooting!
    Last edited by OM44; April 27th, 2009 at 04:11 PM. Reason: replaced an incorrect word

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    Senior Member Array AZ Desertrat's Avatar
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    NO.....all cylinders are loaded and ready.....most of the revolvers today have a transfer bar type of mechanism and are safe to do so.
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    Just to pick a nit, New Model Rugers don't have a a firing pin block, they have a transfer bar which works just about the opposite of a firing pin block.

    The firing pin isn't on the hammer, it's mounted in the frame and there is a notch in the New Model's hammer which doesn't allow the hammer to directly contact the pin. When the trigger is pulled the transfer bar raises up between the hammer and the pin, the bar bridges the hammer's notch and the hammer strikes the transfer bar which transmits the strike to the pin.

    As posted, Old Model Ruger single actions should be carried hammer down on an empty chamber, New Models are good to go with 6.

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    Senior Member Array jca1's Avatar
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    I'm odd, I carry mine with an empty under the hammer, cause I too was just taught this way...I know I don't have to anymore, but still.

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    Senior Member Array CR2008's Avatar
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    NO.. unless it's some sort of very old SA type revolver etc I dont see my modern day snuby needs to be carried like that.
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    I agree with pretty much everyone here. A double-action revolver, of any age, can be carried with the hammer down on an loaded chamber. Modern single-actions, with a transfer bar or other device would also be safe. Since I am an old-fashioned kind of guy, I would choose to carry any single-action with the hammer down on an empty chamber--but that is by choice due to historical authenticity, not need.
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